Language and words in the news – 30th November, 2012

Posted by on November 30, 2012

This post contains a selection of links related to language and words in the news. These can be items from the latest news, blog posts or interesting websites related to global English, language change, education in general, and language learning and teaching in particular. Feel free to contact us if you would like to submit a link for us to include, or just add a comment to the post, with the link(s) you’d like to share.

Global English

You’re in America! Twitter Account Corrects Dumb Grammar
Nobody knows the masked linguistic avenger behind the suddenly popular account … But whatever its true identity, we’re betting thousands of English teachers are grateful for its presence.

Linguist Makes Sensational Claim: English Is a Scandinavian Language
Faarlund and his colleague Joseph Emmonds … now believe they can prove that English is in reality a Scandinavian language, in other words it belongs to the Northern Germanic language group, just like Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic and Faroese.

Language change and slang

A Perfectly Nice, Well-Intentioned Rant About Hyphens
“… Talking about hyphens is like talking about politics. You resolve nothing, everyone’s feelings get hurt, and you hold fast to your original beliefs.”

Language on the Internet: The Erkernermerst
Reddit is mainly an English-language party, but its popularity also reaches non-English-speakers, who might “lurk” (read, but not write) or attempt to improve their English through participation.

Language technology

How Do Computers Understand Speech?
A computer can call your mother when you tell it to, find you a pizza place when you ask for one, or write out an email that you dictate. Sometimes the computer gets it wrong, but a lot of the time it gets it right, which is amazing when you think about what a computer has to do to turn human speech into written words: turn tiny changes in air pressure into language.

Scientists analyze millions of news articles
Researchers in the UK have used artificial intelligence algorithms to analyze 2.5 million articles from 498 different English-language online news outlets over ten months.

Language resources

Babel – a new language magazine
Babel promises to address “issues relating to many different human languages”, and will have regular items such as feature articles of general interest, biographies of influential thinkers, explanations of technical terms, and more.

First issue of Babel (pdf) can be downloaded here:
Babel. The language magazine, No 1, November 2012

The Lifehacker Tech Dictionary
… a tech dictionary to help you better read the internet as a whole, whether you’re a tech noob or an advanced user.

Books, dictionaries, words and languages

Former OED editor covertly deleted thousand of words, book claims
An eminent former editor of the Oxford English Dictionary covertly deleted thousands of words because of their foreign origins and bizarrely blamed previous editors, according to claims in a book published this week.

The trench talk that is now entrenched in the English language
From cushy to crummy and blind spot to binge drink, a new study reveals the impact the First World War had on the English language and the words it introduced.

And finally … a bit of fun

Linguist Llama: Nobody’s Perfect

Comments (2)
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    Posted by Weekly favorites (Dec 3-9) | Adventures in Freelance Translation on 10th December, 2012
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